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Hell froze over

2013 December 6
by elizabeth_admin

I cleaned my sewing area.

I am not a dirty person, but I can be messy.  While I like a clean room just like the next person, cleaning up is not high on my priority list and I can live with a messy room probably far longer than I should.  So that’s a long preamble to explain that it was pretty bad when I finally cleaned up my sewing area this week.  It took THREE DAYS.  Ok, it wasn’t an entire 3 days, but it definitely spanned 3 days as I couldn’t focus on it for long periods of time.  I got distracted by the LFN Style post and Pinterest LFN Style board, as well as other projects.

Here’s what it looked like before I had tackled much of the mess.  I started on the sewing table, so that area looks relatively neat in this picture.  The top photo is my cutting table.  The middle photo has a chair buried under all that fabric, believe it or not.  And the bottom photo is my sewing table after I had cleaned up a majority of the mess on it and in mid-progress of organizing all the little bits.



A few weeks ago (yes, I’ve been wanting to clean for weeks but hadn’t actually started until this week), I bought a plastic drawer doohicky from Home Depot.  Unfortunately, it was a depressing shade of metallic gray plastic.  Nothing a little spray paint couldn’t cheer up and make matchy matchy for my room.  I have a tool box that I use for my sewing table, but I think this drawer thingy will be a lot more useful.  Especially since I take my tool box with me to draping class every week, which means I leave a ton of stuff just laying everywhere for the last 10 weeks of the class.





Two days ago, I bought some fabric online to make sewing machine covers for all my machines so the table will look nice when I’m not using it.  My bedroom window faces the entrance walk to the house, so when I have my shade open, everyone can see my machines as they walk up to the front door.  Not so photogenic and usually I just keep the shade closed which is not great for me who craves natural light all the time.  Ideally (meaning for the first week only probably), I will clean off my sewing table after every use and put the covers on the machine so the table and room look nice when not in use.  Well, that’s the (unrealistic) goal anyway.  Oh and I bought some printed double knit (not a print per se since it’s so subtle, but more of a texture) for another a-line skirt and some mustache print cotton to make into PJ pants a la Karen.  I really wanted to buy the sexy Santas like Karen did, but I thought Jack might ask some funny questions about them.  Sigh.  Oh well.

For some reason, the chair in the corner of the room is a magnet for fabrics.  That pile was ridiculously and precariously high.  I’m surprised it stayed perched like that.  I actually sorted the fabrics and sorted my fabric closet out so I could put them all away.  It is fun to sort fabrics though.  I really should do it more often.  It’s amazing to rediscover what’s in your stash.  It gave me a lot of ideas.

Now I also had a huge mess of opened patterns that I kept moving around.  It was over 15 patterns!  I used ziplock bags, the gallon size, to keep them separate.  Then I crammed them into the middle lower cabinet.  I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to store the downloaded patterns that are taped together.  They are so bulky!

Now I’m ready to sew and hell has frozen over.


Above is the sewing table.  To the left of the table is the new home for my dress form and the dresser to the left of that is where I keep a bunch of sewing notions, like serger threads, zippers, elastics, buttons, double fold bias tapes, etc.  Now I just need to receive the fabric for the sewing machine covers and make them.



Above is the chair that was loaded down in fabric and my cutting table.  I have my next two projects on the cutting table, ready to go.  I cleaned up the counter top behind the table as well.  All my rulers are on the right.  The middle cabinet below is jam-packed with the patterns I put away.



And there’s my pressing area.  I just have to put a few more things away (they’re out of sight in these pictures in the hallway waiting for me now) and my Spring Cleaning I mean Fall Cleaning is done!  I’m hoping it will remain neat for more than a week, but I’m not making any promises.

In other sewing news, the elf on the shelf returned this year to keep an eye on the little boy who lives with me and report back his behavior to Santa.  One night the elf sewed himself up a t-shirt while I was sleeping.  Jack came in that morning to see the sewing machine on with the elf in front of the machine and a tiny little t-shirt freshly sewn up.  Jack was stunned!  His reaction was so cute.  He walked into my dark room, lit only by the tiny bulb in my Singer Featherweight and said, “Oh. My. G0d.” very slowly.  He was so excited to see what the elf had sewn.  Later Jack said he didn’t know that boys could sew.  I quickly set him to rights.



Last night Elfie (that’s his name) wore his newly minted t-shirt while drag racing in our hallway.



Happy sewing!

13 Responses leave one →
  1. December 6, 2013

    That little elf sewing is adorable! He must be Tailor Elf when at the North Pole!

  2. Cherie permalink
    December 6, 2013

    That little surprise for Jack was adorable! I love Elfie. Cute organized sewing part-of-room also!

  3. Wendy permalink
    December 6, 2013

    I keep most of my my notions in a drawer thingie like yours: buttons, snaps & hooks & eyes, needles (hand and machine), presser feet, labels, a few beads and small things that would otherwise get lost. Very useful!

  4. December 6, 2013

    Hmm… just woke up thinking “I’m clearing up my sewing/computer room” so your post is very timely. Mine is in similar condition – patterns, fabric, stuff everywhere. Just the push I needed!
    I LOVE little Elfie! What a fabulous idea.

  5. December 6, 2013

    I love your room!!! I need to straighten up too. I have a dozen patterns strewn about and have found a neck binding pattern piece and a facing piece in various places OUTSIDE of the sewing room! So sad.

    I love the elf too. That is the fun with tiny ones.

    When my kids were little (they’re now 13 & 15), I would make “reindeer food” with dry oats and glitter. They would sprinkle it near Santa’s cookies. I would partially clean it up and they would be amazed that the reindeer ate the food! 🙂

  6. Ann_B permalink
    December 6, 2013

    Okay, that’s just adorable, Elfie sewing his own top. Just adorable. How funny to mention LFN. I’m curvy and curly too, and really liked that show. The costume designer must have had some fun with that one.
    Send some sewing room clean up inspiration to me. The SR is not too bad, I just tossed everything that did not fit into the family room. Yeesh. If any readers have pattern storage ideas I’m excited to listen.
    Happy happy season to you and your sweet son.

  7. December 6, 2013

    Wow, you’ve been busy and productive. Can you send the elf over to clean my sewing room?

  8. December 7, 2013

    Great job Elizabeth! Looks neat and tidy. But where’s all your fabric now?
    I love natural light too!
    Elfie sewing his own shirt is adorbs.
    Did you see, Craftsy now has two pattern making classes? I just got the email overnight.

  9. December 7, 2013

    What a sweet room! You even have a floor- I sometimes wonder if I have one!

  10. December 7, 2013

    Elfie is so cute! Love your sewing room — looks like a lovely place to sew.

  11. December 7, 2013

    Ah – so you’re the reason it got so cold! Cleaning the sewing room is something I do about 2-3 times a year, though I should really do it at least once a month. But, well, in the debate of cleaning vs. sewing, sewing usually wins out. Your sewing space is lovely though – even when it is a mess.

    And the elf is adorable!

  12. Meredith permalink
    December 7, 2013

    looks awesome!

  13. December 10, 2013

    It must be catchy…I spent all weekend straightening my sewing room and I saw that there was a big fabric sort and purge at vacuuming the lawn. The Elf is adorable!

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